Charges dropped against Washington father accused of hiding infant's dead body in bushes

Charges have been dropped against a Washington father accused of hiding his infant's dead body in some bushes.

Investigators said Jordan Sorensen, the 37-year-old father, admitted that he hid his infant's body back in January.

Port Townsend police had put out a notice for the public to be on the lookout for Sorensen. Police said at the time that he was wanted for kidnapping his three-week-old son.

A day after the alert was issued, police provided the tragic update that the child was located, but was not found alive.

Sorensen originally faced charges of kidnapping in the second degree, unlawful concealment of a body, and unlawful disposal of human remains.

But on Feb. 16, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney James M. Kennedy said he dropped all the misdemeanor charges against Sorensen:

"This morning I dismissed charges against Mr. Sorensen without prejudice. At the moment I am not in possession of evidence to support felony charges. In order to preserve my ability to file such charges in the future under the mandatory joinder rule, I dismissed the remaining charges."

Kennedy's conclusion went on to say that the suspect's version of events was that he fell asleep with the child, who then shifted position, which interfered with the child's ability to breathe and caused the child's death. The medical examiner found that the child's death was not inconsistent with the suspect's version of events.

"The Prosecuting Attorney's Office possesses no other evidence to refute the Defendant's version of events at this time." 

Kennedy had previously said the community needs to temper its expectations for this case.

"There may be very, precious little that the criminal justice system can do in these circumstances," he said. "Depending on how the case turns out, if there was no intentional, reckless or grossly negligent action that resulted in the death of another, I’m going to have very little in which I can charge an individual with," said Kennedy.

Read the prosecutor's charging decision:

According to probable cause documents obtained by FOX 13, police say Sorensen is a known drug addict and doesn’t have a stable home, but the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) chose to leave the infant in Sorensen’s care.

The baby was born on Christmas with fentanyl in his system. His mother also tested positive for fentanyl use, according to documents.

DCYF decided Sorensen was the safest option for the days-old baby.

Documents say Sorensen was living with another person. DCYF decided once Sorensen passed a urine test, he could have his child in his care without supervision.

His test came back clean on Jan. 8.

Almost immediately after, documents say Sorensen stopped complying with DCYF’s requirements.

Sorensen stopped taking drug tests and would not reply to DCYF’s message, according to the probable cause documents. 

The child’s mother also told DCYF that Sorensen had used black market-purchased urine to pass his drug test; Sorensen denied this claim, according to the documents.

Days after running into roadblocks with Sorensen, DCYF decided to call the police for help, but records show by this point, it was too late.

Port Townsend police found Sorensen hiding in a tent at Kah Tai Park. He tried to get away, but police arrested him, according to the probable cause document.

While in custody, Sorensen said his child was already dead, and he showed police where he hid the weeks-old baby’s body -- behind some bushes.

Sorensen has a lengthy criminal history dating back to when he was a minor. His record includes 28 warrants for failure to appear or comply, four felony convictions as an adult, and two felony convictions as a minor. He also has eight gross misdemeanor convictions and two pending misdemeanors, according to the state.

"I have a lot of concerns about how the suspect ended up with the child in the first place," said Kennedy.

FOX 13 News reached out to DCYF for an explanation regarding their decision to leave an infant in the custody of Sorensen. However, an official with DCYF said they cannot comment "due to privacy laws."